Germany Advises Journalists To Stop Using Google Over US Spying Concerns, May Ask Snowden To Tesity Against NSA

Tyler Durden's picture

The spat between the US and Germany is getting worse by the minute. Following yesterday's meaningless escalation by the Treasury accusing, via official pathways, Germany of being the main culprit for Europe's lack of recovery (and Germany's subsequent retaliation), it is Germany's turn now to refocus public attention on Big Brother's spying pathology when a union representing Germany's journalists advised its members earlier today to stop using Google and Yahoo because of the latest report implicating the NSA in eavesdropping on Google and Yahoo.

From Reuters:

"The German Federation of Journalists recommends journalists to avoid until further notice the use of search engines and e-mail services from Google and Yahoo for their research and digital communication," the union said in a statement.


It cited "scandalous" reports of interception of both companies' web traffic by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's GCHQ.


"The searches made by journalists are just as confidential as the contact details of their sources and the contents of their communication with them," said Michael Konken, head of the union which represents about 38,000 journalists. He said there were safe alternatives for both searches and email.

And while in the US having one's dirty laundry is almost perceived as a status symbol by a culture that encourages online exhibitionism via Facebook and other social media (so what if some bureaucrat in Virginia knows more than what is public), in Germany privacy is actually taken seriouysly.

The German government said last week it had evidence that Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone had been monitored by U.S. intelligence.


Government snooping is especially sensitive in Germany, which has among the strictest privacy laws in the world, since it dredges up memories of eavesdropping by the Stasi secret police in former communist East Germany.


Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom said it wanted German companies to cooperate to shield local internet traffic from foreign intelligence services, although experts believe this could be an uphill battle.


In August, Deutsche Telekom and its partner United Internet launched an initiative dubbed "E-mail made in Germany" to protect clients' email traffic.

And in other news, it is increasingly looking likely that none other than Ed Snowden will be called to testify against the NSA in a German court of law. Germany's ARD reported that Snowden is willing in principal to help shed light on U.S. spying but outlined his complicated legal situation. As we noted earlier, German Greek politician Stroebele proposed possible safe conduct to Berlin, and granting Snowden a residence permit that would prevent extradition. Snowden attorney Anatoly Kutscherena earlier said he wouldn’t comment on alleged NSA spying on Angela Merkel.

Ironically, this follow news that Snowden would take a position with Russian Internet company Vkontakte, a local analogue to Facebook, to develop major website, according to his lawyer.

So if Obama was hoping that all the late summer scandals that have taken his reptuation to an all time low would at least push the NSA spying scandal away from the front page, he may need some additional fabricated and YouTube-validated false flag wars very soon.

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kliguy38's picture

I'm callin' bullshit......these statist bastards have know this for years.....all noise

spine001's picture

I recently installed ghostberry at the advize of another zh member, thanks, there were like 7 or 8 services collecting information about what I do or don't in all my pc and macs, incredible, privacy is worth shit in the usa. I stopped using google search long time ago, but didn't know they were still tracking my every click illegally, I use keeps no history and is encrypted end to end.

Cacete de Ouro's picture

Duckduckgo looks good on paper but search results are weak in my opinion... So it falls down on its results and is unworkable in my view

Ratscam's picture

try for better search results
or enigmabox or VPNs for flying under the radar.

SilverIsKing's picture

These search engines should just piggyback off of Google while keeping the end user's identity obscure. Best of both worlds.

The Alarmist's picture

"So if Obama was hoping that all the late summer scandals that have taken his reptuation to an all time low would at least push the NSA spying scandal away from the front page, he may need some additional fabricated and YouTube-validated false flag wars very soon."

Nah, the website is like one of those fire alarm boxes that has the sign, "Break glass in case of emergency."  The faithful minions at HHS will simply break the web-site a little more so that the clueless "loyal opposition" will spend another three or four weeks talking exclusively about that scandal.

thisandthat's picture

startpage does exactly that, but the results aren't nowhere near the same, whatever the reason

Clycntct's picture

Go to the settings on the startpage and set your paramiters. and save.

by default it has some filtering set.

IXquick and start page. One uses google  and the other uses ? I can't remember but it gives you a big range between the 2.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Try Wolfram Alpha. Enter plain language questions about almost anything.

Ratscam's picture

type in "who am I", if the answer shows your approximate location, you know you,re flying within the radar.

Atlasshruggedme's picture

I guess I am in China... Hmmmm... I win? or Lose?

putaipan's picture

as cool as it seems...has anyone ever gotten something usefull/simple out of wolfram? i dunno- sunspots vs the price of gold? the price of meat/your ol'lady? i've never been able to make it do anything productive. just askin'.

Real Estate Geek's picture

Yeah, "The price of meat has just gone up
And your old lady has just gone down!"

(Cosmik Debris)

gravedestruction's picture

"Duckduckgo looks good on paper but search results are weak in my opinion..."

So what am I to do now?

0b1knob's picture

I think he means Ghostery.   Disconnect is good as well.  They are both extensions for google chrome.

The best search engine IMHO is ixquick which gives you most of the google results anonymously.

seek's picture

Ghostery is available for FireFox as well.

Dr. Destructo's picture

Ghostery? PFF.


Use Noscript and ABP.


Ghostery sells information to companies about what they block, so they aren't doing you any favors.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Yeah, Ghostery I have heard of. I have Disconnect in Firefox already. Also use NoScript, AdBlock, Better Privacy, FaceBook Blocker and HTTPS Everywhere. ixquick sounds like the old Scroogle which sanitized Google searches for you. I start with DuckDuckGo and then go down the list until I have to use Google as a last resort.

Freddie's picture

Is a pretty good search engine - no spying.  You can also view the site you search through their proxy server.  The get no supeona's because they arhive no data.  Servers are in Holland and shitville spy scam Palo Alto.  F SiliCON Valley.

I want to get as far away as I can from O-NSA-Silicon Valley-Redmond shit software, clouds, social media shit like FacePlant, crappy OSs and other spy devices.  F them! is suppoedly working on some things as is John McAfee and others.

I hope the Europeans, Russians, Aussies and NZ'ers can come up with stuff to destroy the USA scum software and devices and spy hosted facilities.

neevarp's picture

I think it is Ghostery - an addon for web browsers ..

putaipan's picture

@k38- yeah,  but i think it's offerring pretty good cover to the real hostilities taking place...

Deo vindice's picture

Historic times we be living in. Watching the free fall of a world power and the bastion of civil and religious liberties into something that is despised by all lovers of freedom and men of morals.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

It's all George Bush's fault!  

After all, Bush DID give Angela a neck massage...



Oh my, a minus one.  Should have added:


(Or are you just being a Halloween Boogieman?)

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

That was just the official downvote bot that rolls trough here daily. Don't take it personally.


edit: nevermind it seems someone actually took you seriously...

StandardDeviant's picture

Wasn't me -- but I'm guessing someone really didn't appreciate that mental image.

One And Only's picture

Stay on topic. Thanks.

I'm sure there will be bitcoin posts in the future.

jbvtme's picture

get bent, fratboy.  was i talking to you?

quasimodo's picture

Probably not, but you managed to irritate the fuck out of the rest of us

putaipan's picture

ah c'mon man. i mean .... you're not even a modo!

msamour's picture

Actually you weren't talking, you were typing. :P

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Germany takes a tough line!  Well, Peru cannot, no clout...

But, Peru has Germany beat when it comes to scenery, food and oddball cars...  I'll concede Germany is way ahead in bearings, LOL...

"More Peru Photos: Olloquito, Mountains, Vehicles, Bearings"

Cacete de Ouro's picture

So, what are alternative practical secure search and email options? Serious posts with no humor, sarcasm, one-upmanship welcomed

spine001's picture, but remember to install script blocker add ons and ghostberry or something similar to block spies applets installed in your machine that track you directly from your keyboard. I am running several right now and couldn't believe how many people were looking at everything I do. I am pist off big time.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Don't forget about LSO's commonly known as flash cookies. For firefox betterprivacy addon is essential to blocking them. Noscript is another good addon that shuts down all scripts running from a website. Note it will cause problems with certain sites especially commerce ones so use accordingly. And yes I know SSL can be exploited but use https as much as possible where you can another good addon that forces https connections so you don't have to manually type them is https everywhere.

Basically, this is a Ghost Poopie Dingleberry. When you feel that dingleberry dangling there, and you sit on the toilet for 10 minutes only to give up and wipe 10 times only to find out, there's nothing dangling at all! Clean TP every time!

docmac324's picture baby

Cacete de Ouro's picture

The trouble is that Goog has a superior set of algorithms. Nothing is near as good as it for finding things in my experience. Even ZH content might agree...

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

That is why if you want to "anonymously" browse google you use a proxy or something like https startpage. It is ixquick but it interfaces directly into google allowing you to hide your ip since google only sees the ip address of the startpage proxy which is designed to deal with a high volume of traffic. One of the major things you can't access behind startpage on google through their interface is the maps though.

For anyone who wants to try it out.

The nice thing also is startpage will allow you to go to the search result through their servers also if you want when browsing. Only issue is some sites won't load or work properly when you do like youtube.

forwardho's picture

Dewey, Startpage is run by google. Is it safe to take googles promise in good faith?


Dr. Destructo's picture

"When you search with Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google ourselves. We get the results and return them to you in total privacy."

Google doesn't run it you're using a 3rd party to get the information for you.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

It is not run by google. It is run by Ixquick it is basically a front end run from their servers so your ip doesn't directly interface into google's search engine only the ixquick server ip registers in google for the search query.

Interesting thing about how they implement SSL and yes most of us know SSL can be exploited and decrypted later on.


With SSL alone, if a target website's "private key" can be obtained once in the future - perhaps through court order, social engineering, attack against the website, or cryptanalysis - that same key can then be used to unlock all other historical traffic of the affected website. For larger Internet services, that could expose the private data of millions of people.

StartPage and Ixquick have now deployed a defense against this known as "Perfect Forward Secrecy," or PFS.

PFS uses a different "per-session" key for each data transfer, so even if a site's private SSL key is compromised, data that was previously transmitted is still safe. Those who want to decrypt large quantities of data sent using PFS face the daunting task of individually decrypting each separate file, as opposed to obtaining a single key to unlock them all.

This can be likened to replacing the master "skeleton key" that unlocks every room in a building with a tight security system that puts a new lock on each door and then creates a unique key for each lock.

In addition to its pioneering use of PFS, earlier this month StartPage and Ixquick deployed Transport Layer Security, or TLS, encryption versions TLS 1.1 and 1.2 on all of its servers. TLS is an upgraded form of SSL encryption, which sets up a secure "tunnel" that protects users' search information.


It ain't perfect but they are trying. More than I can say for other search engines.

olto's picture

Dewey Cheatum Howe,

What do you know about

I have been using it for several months now because it is German and supposedly 'safe'.

The only objection I have is that it is very slow----but, maybe that is why it is 'safe'.

I don't know anything about this wonderful technology I use everyday---old dog and all of that-----------

Thank you

Real Estate Geek's picture

If you're sold on Ixquick, and you can wait a few months . . .


Confused's picture

The Germans have been taking this whole thing very seriously, or so it seems from my experience. They do have an initiative to create a "secure" email platform, which invovles many of the communications companys (many of whom already provide "unsecure" email).


As with anything though, I would be weary. Stroebele from what I understand, has at times, voted indirectly for spying on German citizens. He is an interesting individual, who is a staple in Berlin, and who I happen to enjoy (he represents my district at the moment). Perhaps I am wrong, this is just what I have been told from some locals. 

Notarocketscientist's picture

Merkel is owned by the NSA - they have the goods on her and every politician in Germany.   If they were to really step out of line that would be the end of them

This hoo haw is all for the cameras - the real power which runs the US has had their minions advise Merkel on how to handle this:

'Jump up and down in a petulant fashion screaming how you are so upset with the NSA - then do absolutely nothing to stop us - or else'

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

No Merkel is owned by who provides energy to Germany. That is Russian gas, not USA gas or oil.

Who run EU bartertown?

It ain't the US.